By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Turn your clock back – WAY back – if you’re old enough! Do you remember a song with lyrics written by Jimmy Durante called “Make Someone Happy”? Well, it seems the Teleflora network of professional florists kind of adopted Durante’s thought when they began their program called “Make Someone Smile” sixteen years ago. It is an annual nationwide program, and this year’s celebration has just passed (July 19-25). Some of their member florists deliver floral arrangements in their neighborhoods to people who deserve a smile – for instance, their “Be Happy” bouquets often go to hospitals, senior centers, nursing homes, assisted living homes, etc. The choice is entirely up to the participating florists.
Last week, employees at All Seasons Florist in Shinnston were extremely busy making approximately 215 of these ‘special deliveries’. Teleflora donated the bright yellow smiley-faced ceramic mugs, which All Seasons filled with healthy green plants. All Seasons chose River Oaks Nursing Home in Clarksburg as their recipients because they had knowledge from personal experiences of how well their family members were treated there.
They called in advance to set up a convenient delivery time and learned that patients were not permitted to receive them because they were in breakable containers that might prove to be an accident hazard, so they delivered to the over 100 employees who care for patients there.
Owner Barb Vance said they had no trouble deciding what to do with the rest of them! “After a little thought, some other local people came to mind immediately,” she said. “We took some to our Shinnston Volunteer Fire Department, the Spelter Fire Department and to Dr. Dubberke’s office because these are people who help other people and we thought they deserved a smile bouquet. The remainder went to the local Huntington Bank office and Fairmont Federal Credit Union.”
Yes, for the most part, it was a total surprise, and when deliveries were made, Barb said they got the same reaction – lots of smiles and lots of thank you’s!
“It was well worth the time it took to prepare and deliver them because they served the purpose that was intended – to make someone happy,” she added.
And just as the words to Durante’s song ends – “Make just one someone happy, and you will be happy too.” Employees agreed that the smiles were contagious; making the surprise deliveries brought smiles to their own faces as well!
All Seasons Florist has been a Shinnston business and a Teleflora florist dealer for 28 years now. Barb is currently a member of the state of West Virginia’s Teleflora Board of Directors.
Teleflora says the ‘Be Happy’ bouquet is a classic Telefora arrangement that has come to embody the Make Someone Smile Week program.
Who doesn’t like to receive flowers? Barb says that in this business, it is one of the rewards because you often deliver something that captures the element of surprise and rarely is it ever received without making someone happy to have been remembered.
All Seasons Florist got its start in the downtown area but moved many years ago to its present location along Rt. 19 next to Go-Mart. In the beginning, they prepared just floral arrangements – both fresh and silk. Through the years, though, the business has expanded to carry Yankee candles, Sarris candy, Foundation and Willow Tree angels, throws, garden flags – even purses!
In the spring local customers can find many choices of bedding plants and hanging baskets; in the fall, they carry mums in all colors along with pumpkins and cornstalks for decorating. And wintertime, of course, brings the availability of many pine arrangements and poinsettias in assorted colors. Some of the ‘extras’ they’ve added can be incorporated into floral arrangements to make them more personalized and unique. Helium filled balloons are also offered at All Seasons along with a great selection of primitive décor and gift items.
Twenty-eight years is quite a milestone! According to Barb, it has been a lot of hard yet enjoyable work, and she is thankful to have some very talented people working by her side which enables them to provide “something just a little bit different” from the traditional bouquet.
Barb concluded, “When I started this business nearly three decades ago, I prayed that God would help me along the way, and the business has ‘bloomed’ ever since! The people in this area have been great to us too, so I’m thankful to God and to our many loyal customers.”
Even if you’re not looking to place a floral order, it’s worth a stop at All Seasons Florist to take a look around at the many gift items that are available. You’re sure to find something to make someone smile!